The WhatsApp group was flooded with messages as the five friends were all excited about their convocation ceremony: the kind of outfit to be worn, make up, shoes, accessories, photography, and so on.
Shreya was reading their conversation in silence. Receiving her degree after three years of relentless toil was indeed a very special moment for Shreya. Since her school days, she had been dreaming of earning a graduate degree in Chemical Sciences for herself.
She, in fact, had topped the entrance exam to secure a seat for herself in the best college of the country. Now, she was all set to begin the new journey of her life.
Shreya’s mother – Savi was perhaps the ‘happiest’ person on this earth to see her daughter realizing her childhood dream.
Shreya shared a very close bond with her mother. Her mother was her best friend and confidante.
Savi had conceived Shreya after facing two miscarriages back-to-back. With the birth of her daughter, Savi was overjoyed and grateful to the Almighty.
But her happiness was short-lived.
As she rejoiced on her daughter’s selection to the college of her choice, Savi was torn apart by the dreadful news of her fatal illness. She was detected with ovarian cancer that was in the initial stage.
While Shreya was busy packing and preparing for her hostel life, her mother hid her pain behind her ‘lovely’ smile.
Two years passed by and life was at its best for Shreya. She not only excelled in studies but also embraced her new life gracefully.
During her third year of college, Shreya came home for her summer vacations. She noticed her mother had become far paler and weaker than the time she had left her.
The chemotherapy treatment that Savi was undergoing, had started showing its side effects. She had severe hair loss and unending fatigue. Even the doctors’ team treating her was not very encouraging.
Avinash, Savi’s husband had told her several times to reveal the truth to their daughter but she would not yield.
“I cannot see tears in my daughter’s eyes during my last days. I would rather choose to bid her farewell with a smile. Any pain caused to my daughter will kill me much before the cancer consumes me.” Savi would say to Avinash.
But things were not to happen as per Savi’s wish.
One day, Shreya found out her mother’s medical reports. Needless to say, she was shocked to the core.
“How long have you been hiding all these from me? And why? How could you do this to me?” Shreya had burst into tears.
“How can I tell you that I am dying my dear? The very thought of parting from you kills me every day. I didn’t want to disrupt your life by telling the truth.” sobbed the helpless Savi.
“Are you really going to die mom?” Shreya asked with disbelief.
Neither of them an answer to this question. They both were numb. They both were speechless. They could just embrace each other and cry their heart out.
Shreya was inconsolable. She could not accept the cruel truth.
“I am not going anywhere dear. How can I leave my darling daughter? Do you remember Shreya, as a child you would often question me about the whereabouts of your grandparents after their death. And I would tell you that they have transformed into stars. At night before your bedtime, you would always peep through the window to identify them.” Savi said.
“But that was when I was a kid mom. Now I realise how foolish I was!” Shreya said with irritation.
“No, you were not foolish. You were good in accepting truths and dealing with harsh realities in your own way. I want you to do the same even now, and for the rest of your life. I will always be with you. I will keep looking at you from the blue skies and at nights you will find me smiling at you in the form of the brightest star.” Savi would say to Shreya.
“Are you kidding mom?” Shreya would apparently get annoyed at her mother’s false hope. But, the very next moment she would realize that could not hurt her mother during her last days. All she could utter was: “Love You Mom!”
A knock on the door brought Shreya back to reality. It was Avinash – her dad.
“Here is the dress that your mother had chosen for you to wear on your convocation, a month before taking her last breath.” He said and handed over the packet to her.
It was a beautiful indigo blue saree with a silver border. It used to be Savi’s favourite saree which she had worn only once. When asked about it, she would always say, “I am saving it for special occasions.”
“Doesn’t it look like the blue sky decorated with bright and twinkling stars?” Avinash asked.
“Mom kept her promise of being with me in her own way dad.” Shreya hugged the saree tight and smiled with tears of happiness.
A mother’s love indeed is eternal. She never fails to be there for her child even after leaving this world.
To everyone who have been parted from their mothers – your mother is always there looking at you from above the blue skies and smiling at you through the stars. Feel her presence and acknowledge her love.